VISALIA, CA – Tulare County Animal Services of the Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA) is asking for help from residents in locating a vicious dog named “Choco” that was removed from the City of Visalia Animal Care Center after 6:00 p.m. on November 4 or before 6:00 a.m. on November 5. The animal is a vicious and dangerous animal, as defined in Tulare County Ordinance Code §4-07-6000 and community members are asked not to approach the animal, but to call Animal Control Services at (559) 636-4080. Choco is an unaltered male dark brown Mastiff/Staffordshire Terrier mix.
Tulare County Animal Services (TCAS) took Choco into custody after a dog-on-dog attack resulted in the death of a German Shepherd named “Bogey” and Choco was identified by the owner of the deceased dog. The dog was placed in quarantine at the Visalia Animal Care Center, pending a vicious animal hearing, per Tulare County Ordinance.
A hearing was held September 27, 2018 and the Hearing Officer issued a determination letter on October 5, 2018, finding Choco a potentially vicious and dangerous animal pursuant to Tulare County Ordinance Code §4-07-6100(6)(b). The determination was made after hearing evidence in regards to the death of the German Shepherd and the ten additional aggressive incidents reported by other community members, including one alleged bite to another dog and two alleged bites to people. Additionally, the hearing officer found that the owners were negligent and failed to maintain proper restrictive measures that would prevent Choco from freely roaming the neighborhood. The animal was ordered to be humanely euthanized.
At the request of the owner, an appeals hearing was held on October 24, 2018, and the independent hearing officer upheld the determination that the dog is a dangerous animal and should be humanely euthanized.
Sometime during the evening of November 4, or morning of November 5, someone broke into the Visalia Animal Care Center and removed the animal from the kennel. At this time the dog's location remains unknown. No other animals were harmed or stolen and no other property was removed from the Animal Care Center.
Again, the dog has been deemed a dangerous dog and a public health concern. Any resident who thinks they know the whereabouts of the animal is asked to contact Tulare County Animal Services. Click here to contact Tulare County Animal Services.
Tulare County Animal Services Division will be submitting to the Board of Supervisors, for consideration, proposed revisions to the County’s Animal Ordinances and new Commercial Kennel Minimum Standards. The below links will take you to the corresponding documents. You may submit your comments and/or recommendations, via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Draft documents below for the County's Animal Ordinances and the Commercial Kennel Minimum Standards were updated as of September 25, 2018. The Animal Rescue Kennel Minimum Standards were updated as of October 8, 2018.
Click here to download the proposed revisions to the County's Animal Ordinances.
Click here to download the proposed Commercial Kennel Minimum Standards.
Click here to download the proposed Animal Rescue Kennel Minimum Standards.
Animal Services invites community members to review and comment on the proposed changes to the Tulare County Animal Ordinances at the two meetings listed below.
Tuesday, September 25, 5-7 pm (Completed)
Pixley Elementary School, 300 N. School St.
Wednesday, September 26, 5-7 pm (Completed)
Monson-Sultana School, 10643 Ave 416, Sultana
Click here to download the Community Outreach Power Point Presentation.